History of Bonding
In times where bargains where struck with tradable goods and services, people were “bonded out” by family members and friends with what they had. Collateral could have been cattle or possessions, anything that was valuable to ensure the person would go to court. This service allowed the accused to take care of family matters and other arrangements while they fought for their freedom outside of jail.
This of course created an unequal opportunity between the rich and the poor. Poor people where liable to stay in jail for long periods of time, whether they were guilty or innocent of a supposed crime. The rich on the other hand were able to post bail immediately with much ease.
Two entrepreneurs came up with an idea of providing the collateral while charging the family a percentage to provide that service. This business practice made it possible for the poor to bail out of jail and in turn keep the jail population down.
In the early stages of America, English law was followed until the colonies constituted the Declaration of Independence after the war of Independence. In 1679 the English passed the Habeas Corpus Act that allowed the judges the right to set bail. This of course created a new problem for those who did not have much.
In the next decade, the English will set up The English Bill of Rights of 1689 that will set restrictions for the courts not to set excessive bonds or fines. This bill also became a part of the United States Bill of Rights as the 8th Amendment.
8th amendment- No excessive bail.
These laws are in place and for the benefit of not having our rights impeded on by law enforcement and the legal system.
After a few incidents and complaints on law enforcement and government officials taking advantage of their privileges, more laws were passed to secure the rights of the people.
The Judiciary Act of 1789 states that noncapital offenses were bailable. A capital offense is an offense punishable by death.